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Talisca comes back to haunt Benfica as Beşiktaş snatch draw

Talisca, who was loaned out by Benfica to Beşiktaş last month, struck a sensational last-gasp free-kick to earn the Turkish visitors a point in a 1-1 Group B draw in Lisbon.

Matchday 1 highlights: Benfica 1-1 Beşiktaş
Matchday 1 highlights: Benfica 1-1 Beşiktaş

Talisca saved the best till last on his return to face a Benfica side that sent him out on loan last month, firing in a superb last-minute free-kick to earn Beşiktaş a share of the Group B spoils.

The Portuguese team led for much of the evening after Franco Cervi's early effort, the Argentinian reacting first when goalkeeper Tolga Zengin could only parry Eduardo Salvio's powerful shot.

Beşiktaş responded well, having plenty of possession, but Benfica continued to look the more likely scorers as Gonçalo Guedes and André Horta went close. One goal appeared to be enough – half-time substitute Talisca, with his 93rd-minute masterstroke, had other ideas.

Franco Cervi after making it 1-0
Franco Cervi after making it 1-0©AFP/Getty Images

Key Player: André Horta
Although not built in exactly the same mould as former Benfica midfielder Renato Sanchez, high hopes have nonetheless been placed in André Horta and the 19-year-old appears undaunted by the comparisons. Strong in the tackle and with an incredible range of passing, the Eagles youth team product enjoyed pulling the strings for large parts against Beşiktaş. 

Trial and error for the visitors
Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş chopped and changed, and looked to have found the right mix toward the end when he introduced striker Cenk Tosun, replacing left-back Adriano. That meant a three-man back line for Beşiktaş, an unusual formation for them, but at the other end it added impetus and Vincent Aboubakar squandered a great chance before Talisca made his mark.

Ricardo Quaresma vies with Franco Cervi
Ricardo Quaresma vies with Franco Cervi©AFP/Getty Images

Youngsters take their chance
"In every problem, there is opportunity," Benfica coach Rui Vitória said in relation to the injury problems that struck his team prior to the Group B opener. Shorn of star forwards Jonas, Kostas Mitroglou and Raúl Jiménez, the 46-year-old's makeshift forward line made light of those big losses in the first half. Indeed, such was the extent of those efforts that the Eagles energy levels flagged late on and Talisca pounced.

UEFA.com team reporters' views

Paul Bryan, Benfica (@UEFAcomPaulB)
Benfica's supporters left the stadium in stunned silence following Talisca's late equaliser. After a night that at one stage promised a comfortable three points for Rui Vitória's young, confident side, they must now gather themselves for the tricky visit to Napoli. For Beşiktaş, the celebrations are certain to continue into a meeting with Dynamo Kyiv on matchday two. 

Çetin Cem Yılmaz, Beşiktaş (@UEFAcomCetinCY)
Beşiktaş started with real hunger, but looked a bit lost after conceding the first chance they gave away. They had the ball, but lacked creativity and could not find cracks in a spirited Benfica defence until the final 20 minutes. But in the end Beşiktaş had the skills to get back on terms. They will be more confident in Istanbul on matchday two.